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Iamim
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Posted on Monday, April 19, 2010 - 09:50 pm:       

Government says entire IPL structure to be probed
April 19, 2010 22:06 IST


Lalit ModiAfter securing the resignation of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor [ Images ], Government on Monday said the entire Indian Premier League [ Images ] (IPL) will be under scrutiny including its funding and vowed not to spare any 'wrong-doer', as its top boss Lalit Modi [ Images ] came under the scanner of Income Tax authorities.

As the controversy-ridden IPL faces intense attack from the opposition and even a Union minister Vayalar Ravi over alleged murky finances, Income tax authorities asked the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) to respond by April 23 to ten queries, including the one on income from IPL and its entire structure.

The Enforcement Directorate said it will also investigate the alleged murky international deals of the cash-rich IPL while the Company Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid made it clear" we are in the picture."

Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs, was forced to resign on Sunday over his dealings with the IPL Kochi team.

The IPL was in focus in Parliament where the Opposition slammed the event as a "betting and gambling ring" in which black money was involved, called for its ban and demanded that Government take over its affairs. A Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into IPL's source of funds was also demanded.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee [ Images ] said "no guilty or wrong-doer" will be spared in connection with the IPL controversy and that all aspects including the sources and routes of funding of teams will be thoroughly probed.

In Mumbai [ Images ], a senior IT official said the IT department probing alleged financial irregularities in the IPL will widen its inquiry into the assets and transactions of high-profile IPL commissioner Modi and his close associates including their financial interests abroad.

Ravi, a senior Congress leader and Overseas Indians Minister, lent weight to the Opposition attack calling the cricket league as "glorified gambling" and wanted the whole system to be looked into by the government.

Modi himself rubbished allegations of betting and money laundering in the popular event and threatened to take legal action against a leading business daily which had made the accusations.

With Opposition parties training their guns on the government over the IPL dealings in the wake of the Modi-Tharoor row and the controversy over financial issues relating to IPL teams, Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha, "the concerned department has already started investigation process (into the IPL episode)."

Mukherjee assured members that "appropriate action as per law" would be taken if any wrongdoing is found in the manner the IPL is funded.

"The concerned department has already started investigation process (into the IPL episode). All aspects including sources of funding and routes through which the funds arrived would be looked into. Appropriate action as per law would be taken. No guilty or wrong-doer will be spared," Mukherjee said.

The BCCI, sources said, was asked questions relating to owners of IPL teams, their balance sheets, income earned during the various tournaments and the money paid to players.
 

Iamim
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Posted on Monday, April 19, 2010 - 09:48 pm:       

Modi rubbishes match fixing allegations
Last updated on: April 19, 2010 14:10 IST

Indian Premier League's [ Images ] embattled Chairman Lalit Modi [ Images ] on Monday refuted allegations of betting and money laundering in the event, saying the charges were "nonsense" and aimed at discrediting the Twenty20 [ Images ] tournament.

Reacting to media reports that some stakeholders, including he himself, were involved in betting in the league, Modi said there is no wrongdoing in the event as the ICC's [ Images ] Anti-Corruption Unit is keeping an eye on it.

"It's absolute nonsense. ICC's anti-corruption unit is tracking the tournament. (It's) another attempt to discredit IPL," Modi, who is currently in Dubai [ Images ] to attend the ICC's Executive Board meeting on behalf of BCCI President Shashank Manohar, wrote on Twitter.

The IPL Commissioner is under fire ever since he picked up a public spat with now former junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor [ Images ] over the issue of stakeholders in the Kochi franchise, which will make its IPL debut next year.

Modi revealed the shareholding pattern of the team and it emerged that Tharoor's close friend Sunanda Pushkar had a free equity worth Rs 70 crore in it.

Tharoor had to resign from his post after being accused of helping Pushkar get the stake by wielding his influence.

Modi too has landed in a soup due to the controversy and his and IPL offices were raided by the Income Tax department a few days ago.

There is also speculation that the high-flying IPL commissioner could have his wings clipped by the BCCI as there is growing resentment over his style of functioning in the Board.
 

Iamim
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Posted on Monday, April 19, 2010 - 09:48 pm:       

Modi's exit foregone conclusion: BCCI sources
Last updated on: April 19, 2010 15:34 IST

Lalit Modi's [ Images ] days as the IPL Commissioner appear to be numbered as the BCCI's top brass has more or less made up its mind to remove the high-flying administrator who has triggered a political storm and brought the BCCI under the Income Tax scanner.

The stand against Modi has hardened over the last few days as the rapidly-developing events surrounding Kochi franchise's stakeholding pattern has opened a pandora's box about financial irregularities in the IPL.

Modi himself is under fire for allegedly helping his family and friends buy stakes in various IPL teams.

His tweets about Kochi's shareholding created a political storm as it emerged that Minister of State for External Affair Shashi Tharoor's [ Images ] close friend Sunanda Pushkar had sweat equity worth Rs 70 crore. Tharoor had to resign, while Pushkar also gave up her stake in Kochi franchise.

"Modi's exit is a foregone conclusion. The BCCI members are extremely unhappy in the manner in which he brought about this controversy," a top BCCI source informed.

"Never in the history of BCCI has the Income Tax sleuths raided the offices. It has not only tarnished the image of the Board but has also sullied the IPL brand," the source said.

Support for the beleaguered Modi, who is in Dubai [ Images ] to attend an ICC [ Images ] Executive Board meeting, appears to be dwindling within the BCCI.

Though heavyweight Sharad Pawar [ Images ] is said to be backing Modi, none of the other bigwigs seem to be in the mood to defend him this time around.

Tharoor's resignation from the government has also led to intense speculation that the centre would target Modi now and the BCCI does not want to be caught in the cross-fire.

BCCI spokesman Rajiv Shukla, however, maintains that the issue will be discussed and reports of Modi being downsized are a mere media speculation.

"All the allegations (against Modi) and other issues would be discussed in the Governing Council meeting.

"BCCI Working Committee meeting has been postponed to May 2 because all things have to be discussed in the Governing Council meeting first. There is no point in having a Working Committee meeting before that," added the BCCI Media and Finance Committee chairman.

The Governing Council meeting is expected to be held on April 26, a day after the final of the IPL. No date has yet been officially announced.

Modi detractors have already prepared the groundwork to ease him out of the Commissioner's post. There has also been talk of passing a resolution in the council meeting to remove him but no confirmation could be obtained.
 

Johnny_quest
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Posted on Monday, April 19, 2010 - 09:44 pm:       

F'ing D Heads
 

Iamim
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Posted on Monday, April 19, 2010 - 09:32 pm:       

Opposition wants ban on IPL and JPC probe into funding

Special Correspondent

Pranab says government won't spare “guilty or wrongdoer”

— Photo: PTI

FIRM STAND:Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha

NEW DELHI: An unrelenting Opposition mounted a sharp attack in the Lok Sabha on the United Progressive Alliance government on Monday, demanding a ban on the Indian Premier League and the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the sources of funding of the cricket teams.

This came a day after Shashi Tharoor resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs over his controversial role in the Kochi IPL franchise.

The government said “no guilty or wrongdoer” would be spared and assured the House that all aspects of funding would be probed.

While the Opposition parties slammed the IPL format of the game, alleging that it was a “betting and gambling ring” where blackmoney was being “white-washed,” Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said “appropriate action as per law” would be taken if any wrongdoing was found in the manner of funding.

“The department concerned has already started investigation. All aspects, including sources of funding and routes through which the funds arrived, would be looked into. No guilty or wrongdoer will be spared,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

His response came after the Left parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party, the Janata Dal (United), and the Bahujan Samaj Party alleged that the IPL tournament involved “laundering of blackmoney” and demanded that the government take over it. They also welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision to seek the resignation of Mr. Tharoor.

The IPL issue was raised as soon as the House assembled for the day. RJD leader Lalu Prasad, SP president Mulayam Singh and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav demanded that the Centre ban the tournament.

Even as Speaker Meira Kumar appealed to them to allow question hour proceed peacefully, Mr. Sharad Yadav said: “The moot question is the IPL, and not Shashi Tharoor.”

Raising the matter during zero hour, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said that while he welcomed Dr. Singh's decision to ask Mr. Tharoor to quit, the main issue related to the IPL. Alleging that the game involved “laundering” and “white-washing” of blackmoney, he said it was an “aberration” taking place right “under the nose of the Finance Ministry.”

Mr. Dasgupta termed the T20 format a “caricature” of cricket, which was only “maligning and diluting cricket, sending a message to budding players to go to 20:20 to earn huge sums of money.” “Players are bought like vegetables. Betting is taking place openly. It is not cricket, but an organised gamble.” He also pointed to reports that funds were coming from dubious sources in Mauritius and Dubai as well as from Swiss banks.

BJP's Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde said the IPL was not set up to encourage cricket, but to make money. “It involves a lot of blackmoney.”

In the Rajya Sabha, the issue was raised by Shivanand Tiwari of the JD(U), who demanded that the funds of the IPL and the BCCI be confiscated.

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